The Majesty of Man: A Novel

Designer: Alice Cordelia Morse (American, Ohio 1863–1961)

Author: Louie Alien Baker, known as Alien (New Zealander, Aston, Warwickshire 1858–1926)

Publisher: Dodd, Mead & Co.

Date: 1896

Medium: Pale green cloth covered boards with dark green and gold decoration

Dimensions: 7 5/8 × 11 9/16 in. (19.4 × 29.4 cm)
Other: 7 5/8 × 4 15/16 in. (19.4 × 12.6 cm)
Other: 7 5/8 × 6 9/16 in. (19.4 × 16.7 cm)

Classification: Bindings

Credit Line: Gift of Alice C. Morse, 1923, Transferred from the Library, 1956

Accession Number: 56.522.95


A leading New York book-cover designer in the late nineteenth century, Morse studied at the Woman’s Art School of the Cooper Union, then under John La Farge before working for Louis C. Tiffany as a painter and designer of stained glass. In 1887 she began to concentrate on book-covers, fufilling eighty-three commissions for New York commercial publishers by 1905. Complementing the text, she chose imagery ranging from classical, to Renaissance, Celtic, Arabic, Gothic, Rococo, to Arts and Crafts. This example, using Art Nouveau motifs is one of Morse's most dramatic, and is also one of her earliest signed bindings, stamped with separated initials. Later in 1896 she developed a monogram with joined letters.